A few days ago, Nikon Rumors pointed out that Nikon had suddenly removed “image sensor cleaning” from the tech specs of the recently announced Nikon Z50. Earlier today, we were able to confirm with Nikon USA that this feature is, indeed, missing from the company’s latest mirrorless camera.
In a statement provided to PetaPixel early this morning, Nikon wrote that:
Because of the inclusion of the dust-off reference data function as well as the reduced size, the Z 50 does not incorporate a mechanical image-sensor cleaning system.
In other words: they did it to keep the camera as lightweight and compact as possible.
The “dust-off reference data function” mentioned in the statement refers to a software feature that’s build into all Nikon cameras. This feature prompts you to take an image of a “well-lit featureless white object” and then exports that image as a .NDF file that can be used by Nikon’s Capture NX software to identify and automatically remove dust spots from your images in post.
This works to a point—assuming you actually use Nikon’s editing software—but Z50 users will no doubt miss the mechanical sensor cleaning function.